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Variety (1960) - Hitchy: 'Psycho' has everything but tires


  • article: Hitchy: 'Psycho' has everything but tires
  • journal: Variety (15/Jun/1960)
  • issue: volume 219, issue 3, page 4
  • journal ISSN: 0042-2738
  • publisher: Penske Business Media




Producer-director Alfred Hitchcock tells as how his newest, "Psycho," is being sold like the automobile people herald an upcoming model. They don't unveil anything until it's ready for the showroom. But they do a lot of talking.

In New York after a globe-circling trip of three months, "Hitch" along with Paramount v.p. Jerry Pickman and ad-pub chief Martin Davis, at a press conference, said a special five-minute trailer has been prepared but this will contain no clips of the picture itself. It simply focuses on the filmmaker. As a matter of fact, all the "sell" centers on this being a Hitchcock picture. The public is to get no inkling as to theme.

"Psycho" opens tomorrow (16) at the DeMille and Baronet Theatres, Manhattan, and on June 22 at the Arcadia, Philadelphia; Paramount. Boston, and the Woods, Chicago. In what Hitchcock terms a "daring presentation policy," the customers will not be permitted to enter the theatre auditorium after the start of the film's performance at any of these houses. And, he adds, special Pinkerton guards are being employed to enforce this rule.

Allied States' View

Current Allied States bulletin tees off on what It fears may be a revival of "blind-selling." Chief targets are 20th-Fox which allegedly had been offering "The Story of Ruth" before trade screenings, and Paramount, which has denied screenings of "Psycho" as part of its promotion build-up campaign.

Bulletin suggests, anent the "Psycho" case, that this may be a good promotion idea for the first performance, wherever that takes place. "But when the audience files out of the theatre after the first showing, the secret will quickly spread throughout the land. If the big" buildup turns out to be the big letdown (without seeing the picture, no one can predict which), then the gimmick may backfire, very badly."

When an exhib must bid for pictures which not been trade shown, "it is like fighting with bowie knives in a dark room," says the bulletin. It adds that while in reverting to blind-sellings the defendent companies may not be violating any specific provision of the consent decrees, "it is pretty evident that they are breaking faith with the Government and, perhaps, with the court."